- Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Fawcett (November 12, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0449215717
- ISBN-13: 978-0449215715
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 115 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ivy Tree Mass Market Paperback – November 12, 1987
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"Exciting."--The Christian Science Monitor
"Perils await every turning page." -- The Washington Post
From the Inside Flap
oloring...Her walk...The way she smiled. If Mary Grey looked so much like the missing heiress, why should she not be an heiress? To the lonely young woman living in a dreary furnished room, faced with an uncertain future, the impersonation offered intriguing possibilities.
And so plain Mary Grey became the glamorous Annabel Winslow. But she did not live happily ever after. In fact, she almost did not live at all. Because someone wanted Annabel missing...permanently.
Top customer reviews
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This particular book does not fit into any of the usual Stewart categories----the great chase as in 'Madam Will You Talk?', the closed room police procedural as in 'Wildfire at Midnight' or the Evil Relative with Nefarious Intentions as in 'Nine Coaches Waiting'----rather, it is a story of impersonation. . . and one of Stewart's best offerings in terms of just about everything: plot, tone, description, dialogue, characterization etc.
Mary Grey accepts a 'job',posing as Annabel Winslow, the long-lost cousin and heiress to Whitescar, a lucrative North England working farm---her employer, her 'cousin' Con has much to gain once Annabel's cantankerous old grandfather passes on. At first, after careful schooling by Con and his half-sister, Lisa, Mary takes to her new position smoothly, easily edging her way into life on the farm with a barrage of lies that seem to be second nature to her. No one doubts her identity until she discovers the presence of an unknown lover that may blow her cover. The real reason Annabel Winslow left Whitescar eight years earlier hits the reader with tour de force revelation which Stewart masterfully manipulates.
I won't spoil the story any further. It must be read slowly and savored like a good $100+ bottle of wine. The language is glorious,meant to be read aloud. The words paint wonderfully lush and powerful images of life in the north country. The characters likewise are finely drawn, flesh and blood human beings whose emotions thunder off the pages with the same potent electric charge of lightning that finally splits the old ivy tree in two towards the end of the story. Even the secondary characters are not to be missed. Mrs. Bates with her nosy northerner's distrust of anything 'London', Julie, the pettish young adult who is Annabel's mirror image, and Donald Seton, the stuffy, but warm-hearted Scot archaeologist with a soft spot for the greedy cat Tommy and his litter of kittens. Even the colt, Rowan, has a personality all his own; Stewart knows and loves her animals and this like all her other novels is a tribute to the creatures and places she loves best.
I have read and listened to this book over and over again. Each time, even though I know the ending, I find new techniques to ponder and wonder over. Stewart is simply fantastic; shame on anyone who prefers lesser works to her masterpieces.
I loved Mary Stewart's "Nine Coaches Waiting" and think it was one of the best of that genre. Since then I have read several of Mary Stewart's books, hoping to find one as well done as "Nine Coaches Waiting" and have been disappointed. "The Ivy Tree" was no exception.
I agree with the reviewer who complained about the type face used - I almost put the book down and chose another from my stack after seeing this clunky, old-fashioned type. The book was pretty clunky, too. So boring at times. I really didn't enjoy all of those descriptive paragraphs - especially when character development was so lacking. I had to make myself keep reading this book~that never happens to me, but it just seemed so lacking in things to keep me interested. The hero that Anabelle ends up with is barely developed, and I was left not caring one bit that she ended up with him.
I found the reveal about Anabelle so subtle that I had to go back and re-read the chapter just to make sure I had interpreted it correctly. And the plot seemed convoluted - hard to follow. Maybe if it hadn't taken me two weeks to read this book due to it being so lackluster, I could have followed it better.
Anyway - another disappointment for me from Mary Stewart. I think I'll go read a Victoria Holt now to wipe away the memory of this boring gothic.
Most recent customer reviews
HER CHARACTERS ARE WONDERFUL.